Todd Monken is a strong candidate to rejoin the ranks of NFL coaches and leave the University of Georgia. But regardless of what he decides, he can’t go wrong.
Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken is a topic of wide discussion among the Bulldog Nation. Everyone wants to know what the highest-paid coordinator in college football is going to decide about his future.
He can stay at Georgia, collect his big paycheck, and help the Bulldogs make a run at a third consecutive national championship. Obviously, this would be the preferred choice for everyone connected to the program and its fans.
Or, Monken can head back to the NFL, possibly to the job he held once before as the offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The rumors are he’s a “strong candidate” to accept this job if offered.
While right now the conversation revolves around what Monken may eventually decide to do, it’s important to remember that, for him, there is no wrong choice. There are selling points to going in either direction, as well as a downside.
Why would Todd Monken want to leave Georgia?
If you’re the offensive coordinator of the twice-over No. 1 team in the nation, and you’re making more money at what you’re doing than anyone else in your position, why would you ever consider leaving?
While there’s no reading Monken’s mind — and he’s been somewhat mum on the subject except to say that he loves Athens, loves winning, and would be happy retiring as a Bulldog — the reasons are somewhat obvious.
Monken has done everything he wanted to do at Georgia. He’s rebuilt an anemic offense into one of the best units in the country. He’s helped the program win two consecutive national titles after going more than 40 years without one, and he’s helped develop a former walk-on quarterback into a Heisman Trophy finalist.
He probably should have won the 2022 Broyles Award as the best assistant coach in the country, but that’s an argument for a different time.
So why leave, or even think about leaving?
Two reasons spring to mind if you really think about it. First, what’s left to do in the college ranks other than personal accolades (ie: Broyles Award), and where does he have unfinished business?
It’s the second part that may be the ultimate lure for Todd Monken to leave his comfy post at Georgia and head back to the NFL. You see, despite his overall success at several colleges, it’s the NFL where Monken has had some career bumps in the road.
The biggest bump being the job he’s projected to possibly take again in Tampa Bay. As the Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator from 2016-2018 Tampa Bay compiled 9-7, 5-11, and 5-11 records during his tenure.
However, the poor records were not a reflection of what Monken accomplished. Tampa Bay was 19th in points-per-game during Monken’s first year, and then moved up to 9th in 2017, and then 3rd in 2018. During those three seasons, the yards-per-game average went from 346.4 to 415.5.
So by and large, Monken did the job he was hired to do and played a big part in Jameis Winston’s development. Unfortunately, the team’s poor performance meant an eventual coaching housecleaning.
It’s a certainty Todd Monken can’t help but wonder what his offensive genius could do with the right NFL coaches above and around him.
Why there’s no wrong choice for Todd Monken
Selfishly, Georgia fans want Monken to stay in Athens and continue building on what’s been done during his time here. Truthfully, it has to be a hard decision for him to even consider leaving while the program is peaking. Staying would be a wise choice.
However, going to the NFL — and in particular, Tampa Bay — also has its lure. He’ll either get to work with arguably the greatest NFL quarterback of all time, Tom Brady, or he’ll get to help develop another young quarterback like Kyle Trask or anyone else the Bucs bring in should Brady move on. This, too, would be a wise choice.
He’d also have the opportunity to again rebuild the Buccaneers’ offense, as Tampa finished 25th in points per game in 2022. It was an offense that compiled record-breaking passing stats thanks to Brady but was unable to do much more than move up and down the field under former coordinator Byron Leftwich.
So, stay and continue to shine and do something that has never been done — win three straight college football national titles — or go back and try to bring an NFL team another championship?
If you’re Todd Moken, you can’t go wrong, and if you’re a Georgia fan, you have to be big enough to wish Monken well and thank him for all he did should he make the choice to leave.